May 4, 2012
PITTSBURGH—Two former University of Pittsburgh basketball players—DeJuan Blair and Sam Young—are currently competing for their respective teams in the NBA Playoffs First Round this week. Blair’s San Antonio Spurs currently have a 2-0 lead on the Utah Jazz, while Young’s Philadelphia 76ers are currently tied 1-1 with the Chicago Bulls.
During the regular season, Blair started 62 of 64 games and averaged 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He also shot .534 from the floor in 21.3 minutes per game, notched eight double-doubles, 30 double figure scoring games and six 20-point contests. His season-high was a 28-point, 12-rebound performance at Denver on February 23. A 2009-10 NBA All-Rookie Team selection, Blair is averaging 16.5 minutes, 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in San Antonio’s two playoff games. San Antonio plays Utah on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.
A three-year NBA veteran, Young was acquired by Philadelphia in a midseason trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. Combining his two stints, he averaged 3.3 points in 35 regular season games and 10.7 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 20 points for Memphis against Sacramento on January 3. Philadelphia plays Chicago tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
Aaron Gray (2003-07) also wrapped up his first season for the Toronto Raptors. Gray started 40 of 49 games at center, averaged 3.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and shot .516 from the floor (83-161). He has played five NBA seasons for the Chicago Bulls (2007-09), New Orleans Hornets (2009-11) and Toronto.
In addition, former Pitt player Brad Wanamaker (2008-11) helped guide his NBDL team, the Austin Toros, an affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs to the league’s championship on Saturday. The Toros claimed the title after defeating the Los Angeles D-Fenders, 2-1, in a best-of-three series. Wanamaker provided the spark for the Toros as he joined the team late in the season. He became a starter for the playoff run and averaged 7.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in nine playoff games.